- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I’ve written about ThinkFree Office in “On Computers” before; it’s a great - really great - online service that offers the equal of Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint in a Java-based environment that’s PC, Mac and Linux friendly.

What was once a retail product - and, if memory serves, a subscription service - is now free, the firm says:

ThinkFree, Inc., a provider of office productivity software … announced ThinkFree Online, a free Web service that gives busy families, students and business professionals an easy way to manage tasks and keep everyone up-to-date.

ThinkFree Online is the first Internet-based office productivity suite to blend the best of the Internet’s collaboration features with Microsoft Office suite compatibility. Novice users and IT enthusiasts alike will find the three applications - ThinkFree Write for word processing, ThinkFree Calc for spreadsheet management and ThinkFree Show for creating presentations - intuitive to learn and use. Simply register at www.thinkfree.com to begin experiencing the suite’s unique set of creativity and communications tools for connecting with family, friends and business colleagues.

Key features of ThinkFree Online include:

• Collaborative capabilities for group document editing and file sharing

• Document tagging to allow optimal organization and categorization

• 1 GB of free upgradeable online storage

• Ability to publish documents to a Web page, blog or Internet application

• Easy insertion of images through Flickr, the online photo management community, to share more vivid personal images of life events

• Ability to set different collaboration levels, from completely private to accessible by anyone on the Web

• Consistent user interface regardless of computing platform

• Ajax and Java technology support, which gives users the ability to do quick edits as well as power edits for more complex documents.

ThinkFree Online offers easy integration with existing Microsoft Office documents without the need to reformat, learn a new application or install any new software on the user’s device. It provides support for multiple operating systems - Windows, Macintosh and Linux - and multiple Web browsers*, making it an ideal solution for students, business travelers and others who use shared or multiple computers.

What’s not to like? This is important and useful stuff that I can endorse happily. Check it out and see if you don’t agree.

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